Public Square Academy Seeking Program Collaborators

The Public Square Academy (PSA) is looking to develop educational and civic online programs. NCDD member Michael Freedman shared the announcement that they are looking for those with civic and educational expertise to develop programs across broad topics areas of education, community engagement, government, and more. There is an opportunity for free 4-weeks training while developing the program, which you can learn more about in the post below and find the original on PSA’s site here.


The Public Square Academy Program Designers

The Public Square Academy (PSA) is building a catalog of civic and consumer education programs. These programs differ from typical online programs in that they will emphasize student interaction, cohesive group learning, and active mentoring. This model results in deeper learning and a more rewarding experience for the participants.

We are looking for designers, teachers, subject matter experts (SMEs), authors, and influencers who have civic or consumer education expertise and passion, to develop programs for the Academy. These will be narrow topics in a broad area of programs: from policy and advocacy to government structure and operations, personal and community development, school and workplace engagement, consumer training in financial literacy, healthcare, and consumer rights.  Come on. Rise up!

Programs are remote, based on an LMS, and use video conferencing. We offer the following program models:

Classes – Led by teachers

  • Synchronous Class – These are group-based courses for complex learning with a focus on interactivity: discussions, case studies, and projects. This is our primary course model and provides the best learning experience by using active mentoring, dynamic groups, and interactive learning experiences. Synchronous courses have scheduled group meetings using video conference or in person.
  • Asynchronous Class. Short DIY courses for foundational knowledge. These are equivalent to typical online programs. These programs are good as short courses for a basic introduction to a content area but do not provide deep learning. These programs are not group-based but will include active mentoring.

Workshops – Supported by Guides / SMEs

  • Workshops are supported, content-rich skill or capacity-building programs where individuals or groups work on guided, but self-directed projects to learn and develop specific skills to develop actionable results. Workshops are a good follow up to a course where new skills can be put right into practice.

Forums – Guided by Moderators

  • Topic-focused program with rich background material and guidance focused on generating solutions to problems. These may be continuous learning communities or time / event-bounded.

Candidates will receive 4-weeks training in program design at no charge while they refine their program proposal.

Compensation will be royalties based on revenue earned when a mentor uses your program (you will retain the I.P. rights to the programs you build). If you mentor your program directly, then you earn a greater share of the revenue. So, if you have a great program and/or are an exceptional teacher, you will be able to earn a respectable income. To be clear, income is based on student revenue, so won’t be earned until the programs are up and running. Here are some program ideas we think are worthwhile.

For starters, please send a short – one-page proposal for a program(s) you want to build/offer along with a resume. Include a brief outline/description, identify the target audience/participants and the program’s learning goals.

Here are design guidelines to work with:

  • Select one or more program models from the above list, define your audience (be as defined and narrow as you can be) and learning objectives.
  • Our programs are for adult learners (individuals, groups, or within schools or organizations)
  • Incorporate highly interactive elements: discussions, projects, collaborations, scripted role plays, simulations, and games/competitions.
  • Optionally, develop a turnkey curriculum for students and mentors, make it customizable and localizable. This option enables program owners to scale their programs and income.
  • Commercially viable: people will want to participate because it’s meaningful and enjoyable. It will provide participants with a transformative experience.
  • Proposed programs must be in alignment with the Academy’s mission.

Please feel free to ask questions or ask for a phone call or video chat. This program emphasizes relationships, so why not start with a conversation.

For more information, contact Michael Freedman at: Michael (at) ThePublicSquare (dot) Academy

You can find the original version of this announcement on PSA’s at www.thepublicsquare.academy/program-designers/.

Check out the Fifth Round of NCDD2018 Workshops!

In anticipation for the upcoming 2018 National Conference for Dialogue & Deliberation, we are thrilled to announce another round of workshops! Check out the sessions we’ve announced so far and join us for this engaging conference happening Friday, November 2nd to Sunday, November 4th in downtown Denver. We have several exciting pre-conference sessions on Thursday, November 1st – so register ASAP to attend. Take advantage of our discounted hotel room rate until 5:00pm MST on Wednesday, October 10th and/or coordinate here on the blog to find a roommate. If you are looking for a way to support this field, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Scholarship Fund Drive! These contributions will help support a student or fellow NCDDer to attend the conference who would otherwise be unable to do so.


NCDD2018 Workshop Sessions

We will announce the final workshop sessions within the next few weeks!

Developing Materials, Identifying Challenges, and Embracing Opportunities for Dialogue and Deliberation in Rural America
This session will offer an exploration of an effort by the Interactivity Foundation to develop a discussion guide on the future of agriculture and rural communities regarding the effort to share strategies for organizing rural discussions and organizing discussions in urban communities on rural themes. This session will critically examine the so-called urban/rural divide. In addition to this particular resource, presenters will share stories of connecting into rural deliberative systems, highlighting challenges and opportunities for working in rural communities such as Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Oregon, and Arizona.

Sara Drury
Director, Wabash College Democracy and Public Discourse

Linda Ellinor
Founder and Senior Consultant, Action Dialogue Group

Sarah Giles
Project Manager, Oregon’s Kitchen Table
National Policy Consensus Center, Portland State University

Shannon Wheatley Hartman
Fellow, Interactivity Foundation

Timothy Shaffer
Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, Kansas State University

David Supp-Montgomerie
Director and Lecturer, Iowa Program for Public Life

Don’t Engage the Public… Before You’ve Answered These Six Questions
Public participation is increasingly becoming the norm for government decision-making. More engagement, however, doesn’t necessarily mean higher satisfaction with the process and outcomes among communities and decision-makers. Using case studies and scenario exercises the session will provide an opportunity to road-test six strategic questions that help set dialogue and deliberation practitioners up for success, by clarifying key elements of an engagement process, including the topic, desired outcomes, impact on communities, depth and reach of engagement, as well as plans for follow-through.

Hassan Hussein
Assistant Professor, St. John’s University

Robin Prest
Program Director, Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue

Elevating Voices and Building Bridges: Community Trust and Police Relations
It is important to build relationships between the community and police to improve public safety and increase community trust. We will present specific dialogue methods used to engage the community and police and that has created value and impact for multiple demographics affected by law enforcement in the Chicago and Denver regions. Our methods will also illustrate how to support and amplify community voices and ideas.

Joe Hoereth, PhD
Director, Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, University of Illinois at Chicago

Gianina Irlando
Community Relations Ombudsman, Office of the Independent Monitor

Paul Pazen
Chief of Police, Denver Police Department

Norma E. Ramos
Director of Engagement and Partnerships, Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, University of Illinois at Chicago

Bria Scudder
Senior Government and Community Liaison, Illinois Attorney General’s Office

Enriching Journalism and D&D through Collaboration
This interactive session highlights multiple approaches to collaboration between journalists and D&D. The presenters will draw on their experience leading efforts connecting journalists and the communities they serve through dialogue and deliberation-based engagement efforts. We’ll highlight three of our projects, and reference others, to surface best practices for building D&D approaches into journalism and ensuring D&D efforts resonate with media organizations to support meaningful community change. We’ll then move into interactive, small group discussions to identify and critique ideas for incorporating these practices into the efforts and projects of session attendees, developing ideas from the perspectives of both D&D practitioners and journalists.

Elizabeth Dunbar
Reporter, Minnesota Public Radio

Leslie Graves
President & CEO, Ballotpedia

Adolf Gundersen
Research Director, Interactivity Foundation

Andrew Rockway
Program Director, Jefferson Center

Growing the Next Generation of D&D Leaders through Campus Dialogues
How might we grow the next generation of D&D leaders? In this session, we’ll share different co-curricular approaches to student-facilitated campus dialogues that could play a role. We represent 5 different schools of various sizes (UC Davis, Oklahoma State, Emory, University of Tampa, and Wesleyan College) and different non-profits (Sustained Dialogue Institute and the Interactivity Foundation). Together with workshop attendees, we’ll explore what it takes to create and sustain the ecosystem for co-curricular D&D programs, the challenges and promises for this work, and lessons learned so far.

Melanie Doherty
Associate Professor of English and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Liaison, Wesleyan College

Ed Lee
Senior Director, Alben W. Barkley Forum for Debate, Deliberation, & Dialogue
Emory University

Tami Moore
Associate Professor, Higher Education and Student Affairs, Oklahoma State University

Tonya Parker
Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Wesleyan College

Carolyn Penny
Director of Campus Dialogue and Deliberation, University of California Davis

Jeff Prudhomme
Vice President, Interactivity Foundation

Mike Stout
Associate Professor, Oklahoma State University
George Kaiser Family Foundation Chair in Family and Community Policy

Elizabeth Wuerz
Program Consultant, Sustained Dialogue Institute

Measuring Civic Infrastructure and Building A Culture of Engagement
How do communities move from occasional public participation to a robust culture of engagement? Participants will learn about the National Civic League’s Civic Index and engage in small group activities using the index. The Civic Index is a tool for measuring the capacity of a community for effective decision-making and problem-solving. Doug Linkhart, President of the National Civic League, will present the newest version of the index, a tool originally created in 1987. Carla Kimbrough, Racial Equity Director for the League, will present examples of how cities achieve the equity and inclusiveness aspects of the index. Carmen Ramirez, Community & Neighborhood Resources Manager for the City of Longmont, Colorado, will talk about the benefits to her city of a cultural of engagement.

Carla Kimbrough
Racial Equity Director, National Civic League

Doug Linkhart
President, National Civic League

Carmen Ramirez
Community & Neighborhood Resources Manager, City of Longmont

Talking about Guns in America: Two Approaches for Shifting the Conversation
Americans are sharply divided over how to deal with gun violence. Many gun-owning Americans strongly oppose new gun regulations, and some want to expand gun rights with a national “right to carry” reciprocity law. Meanwhile, gun control advocates are ramping up campaigns for laws such as a federal ban on the popular AR15 and other assault-style weapons. How can civil dialogue build bridges of understanding between people on both sides of this highly charged debate? Two models will be discussed: a national effort in collaboration with TIME and the Advance Local family of community media groups; and a grassroots project from rural California. This workshop will emphasize problem-solving and creative thinking about how to moderate face-to-face and online discussions of this controversial subject.

John Sarrouf
Director of Program Development and Strategic Partnerships, Essential Partners

Eve Pearlman
Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Spaceship Media

Jim Hight
Independent journalist and facilitator

Final round to be announced soon!

NCDD Member Discount on Future Search Workshops

Did you know?? NCDD member org Future Search is offering NCDD members a 30% discount on their upcoming workshops if you register by October 15th. Make sure you register ASAP to get this great offer and experience these workshops led by fellow NCDD member Sandra Janoff and Marvin Weisbord. This announcement was shared with us via the Main NCDD Discussion listserv [and you can learn how to join this list if you aren’t already by clicking here]. Read the announcement below and find more information on FSN’s site here.


Sign Up for Future Search Workshops

We believe positive change takes the most powerful hold when it’s done in a participative, whole-systems way. Join us at a workshop in December to learn the skills – based on almost 40 years of experience – that make Future Search so effective.

Future Search Network is offering 2 Workshops in Philadelphia, PA December 10-12 and 13-14. We are offering a special  30% Tuition Discount for Members of NCDD if you register by October 15, 2018. If you need more help with tuition, please let us know!

Register Today! Come to one or both events with Sandra Janoff  –  co-founder, with Marvin Weisbord of Future Search Network, and recipient of the Organization Development Network 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award!

“There is a high return on this investment in human capital. It takes a lot of energy to plan but it’s worth it because of the new relationships you build, the energy unleashed, the new perspectives people get on key issues.”  – Brian Roberts, United Methodist Church, NJ

Managing a Future Search –  A Leadership Workshop
December 10-12, 2018 – Philadelphia, PA, USA

Materials include your copy of Future Search – Getting the Whole System in the Room

This workshop is for leaders and facilitators who want to learn how applying Future Search principles and methodology enables an organization to transform its capability for action.

Four key principles underlie the Future Search design:

  • Getting the “whole system” in the room.
  • Exploring the same global context (“whole elephant”) as a backdrop for local action.
  • Focusing on the future and common ground rather than conflicts and problems.

This highly successful strategic planning method is used around the world and in every sector to:

  • Create a shared vision and practical action plans among diverse parties.
  • Devise a plan and gain commitment to implement a vision or strategy that already exists.
  • Initiate rapid action on complex issues where no coordinating structure or shared vision exist.

Learn more at www.futuresearch.net/workshops/mfs/

Lead More, Control Less –  A Master Facilitation Class
December 13-14, 2018 – Philadelphia, PA, USA

Materials include your copy of Lead More, Control Less

Self control is the best control.” – Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff

In this workshop, based on the latest book by Sandra Janoff and Marvin Weisbord, “Lead More, Control Less: 8 Advanced Leadership skills that Overturn Convention”,  you will learn a philosophy, principles and actions that produce superior results while reducing your need to control. These skills will support the way you work with diverse groups and complex problems.

  • With the right structures, people will learn more, teach one another, and exercise a level of control you cannot impose.
  • Change the division of labor and you change everything.
  • You overturn convention when you encourage people to use discretion in their work and to share information, coordination, and control of their work.

Speed and complexity are impacting leaders everywhere!  There are insights and skills that you can learn that overturn conventional responses and let you experience more self-control in leading in today’s world.

In her work around the world, Sandra discovered that she could get better results by creating an unconventional approach to leadership. These lessons are brought together with real world experiences to create a unique and memorable seminar.

Learn more at www.futuresearch.net/workshops/lmcl/

“Controlling people never makes great things happen. I have found that applying the principles in “Lead More, Control Less” takes patience, time and imagination. The result is always rewarding and well worth the effort” – Jesper Brodin, Global Head of Range and Supply, IKEA

You can read more about the workshops on Future Search Network’s site at www.futuresearch.net/method/workshops/.

MetroQuest Online Public Engagement Playbook Webinar

Next week, NCDD member org MetroQuest will be hosting the webinar, Online Public Engagement Playbook; co-sponsored by NCDD and the American Planning Association (APA). The free webinar on Wednesday, September 19th will discuss the successful online engagement strategy which engaged over 5100+ Austin residents and led to the development of the city’s first comprehensive transportation plan. You can read the announcement below or find the original on MetroQuest’s site here.


MetroQuest Webinar: Online Public Engagement Playbook

How is America’s #1 boom town planning for the city’s transportation future?

Wednesday, September 19th
11 am Pacific | 12 pm Mountain | 1 pm Central | 2 pm Eastern (1 hour)
Educational Credit Available (APA AICP CM)
Complimentary (FREE)

On September 19th, find out how Austin engaged 5,100+ citizens online to help inform and shape the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan, its first locally-focused comprehensive transportation plan.

Join Liane Miller, AICP and Senior Business Process Consultant with Austin’s Transportation Department, as she shares the winning elements of her team’s online public engagement playbook. Learn how they combined a great online engagement experience with the right promotional strategy to involve thousands of people, including communities that have been underrepresented in past processes. Discover which of three transportation scenarios earned the most public support.

Attend this complimentary 1-hour webinar for innovative ways to involve members of your community! You’ll learn how to:

  • Reach more people, even with limited staff
  • Share and collect richer planning information by going online
  • Leverage business partnerships to lower barriers to engagement
  • Mine survey results to build a plan that works for all communities
  • Impress city council with a transportation plan informed by the people

Liane will be joined by MetroQuest Chief Engagement Officer Dave Biggs to share best practices and to answer your questions in a live Q&A session.

Thank you to our sponsors: APA and NCDD! AICP CM credit will be available.

Speakers

Liane Miller – Planning and Policy Manager, City of Austin’s Transportation Department
Liane works on planning initiatives, such as the development of the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan, the City’s first multimodal plan. She previously led the citywide capital needs assessment and helped develop the comprehensive plan, Imagine Austin. Liane earned a BS from the University of Texas at Austin and master’s degrees in planning and public administration from the University of Southern California.

Dave Biggs – Chief Engagement Officer, MetroQuest
Dave is a die-hard champion of community engagement and has built a reputation for leading edge community outreach. He is an internationally-recognized speaker, author, and public engagement strategist. Dave is honored to serve as an advisor on best practices for public involvement to many planning agencies such as APA, FHWA, and TRB and public participation organizations such as IAP2 and NCDD.

You can find the original version of this announcement on MetroQuest’s site at http://go.metroquest.com/Online-Public-Engagement-Playbook.html.

Essential Partners Fall Workshops & NCDD Member Disc

If you are looking to strengthen your dialogue skills, make sure you check out the workshops this coming fall from Essential Partners, an NCDD member and a sponsor of NCDD2018. They will be offering: Introduction to Dialogue Across Differences, The Power of Dialogue: Constructive Conversations on Divisive Issues, and The Power of Stories: Moving Beyond “Them” and “Us”. Learn more about the discount available to NCDD members! You can more information about these workshops on Essential Partners’ site here.


Our Workshops

Introduction to Dialogue Across Differences
September 20, 2018

This one-day workshop uses real-world case studies to introduce participants to the theory and practice of EP’s Reflective Structured Dialogue framework. For three decades, our unique approach has transformed conflicts across the country and the world—but the basic principles of EP’s framework are applicable to local community issues, organizational development, congregations, and everyday conversations.

Intentional communication helps individuals, organizations, and communities build trust, enhance resilience, and engage in constructive conversations despite deeply-held differences of value, belief, opinion, or identity. This workshop provides a set of simple tools to achieve those goals.

Learn more and register: www.whatisessential.org/workshop/introduction-dialogue-across-differences

The Power of Dialogue: Constructive Conversations on Divisive Issues**
October 11 – 13, 2018

The Power of Dialogue is our flagship workshop. This is a comprehensive “deep dive” into our time-tested approach for transforming conflicted conversations about divisive issues. It begins with the theory of our framework and solidifies that with immersive experiential learning. Even within the most contentious issues or fraught situations, the right tools enable a community to foster understanding, restore relationships, and move forward.

The Power of Dialogue is a highly interactive workshop that offers a widely applicable skill set for those with a range of experience levels. As a facilitator, you will learn how to create conversations that foster mutual understanding between groups and individuals divided by deep differences. Hundreds of facilitators, peacebuilders, mediators, and other community leaders from the US and 18 other countries have taken this workshop since its inception in 1996 and are implementing its lessons worldwide. **Discount available for NCDD members

Learn more and register: www.whatisessential.org/workshop/power-dialogue-constructive-conversations-divisive-issues

The Power of Stories: Moving Beyond “Them” and “Us”
November 8, 2018

What are the stories we hold most dear about ourselves? What stories do we tell about others, and how do those stories take shape? Research indicates that we make sense of the world through stories. But stories – particularly the ones we tell about other people – can sometimes deepen the rifts that come between us, creating a feared other; a caricatured “Them”.

This workshop offers tools and structures for harnessing the power of stories to move beyond stereotypes and fear, bringing “Us” and “Them” into relationship through understanding.

Learn more and register: www.whatisessential.org/workshop/power-stories-moving-beyond-them-and-us

You can find more information about these workshops and future ones at Essential Partners’ site at www.whatisessential.org/workshops.

Fourth Round of NCDD2018 Workshops Now Available!

Excited for the upcoming 2018 National Conference for Dialogue & Deliberation?! Then make sure you check out this fourth round of NCDD2018 workshops, as well as, what we have announced up until now! NCDD2018 will be from Friday, November 2nd to Sunday, November 4th in downtown Denver, but we encourage folks to get an early start on the NCDD fun with the pre-conference sessions happening on Thursday, November 1st (read more here). If you are looking to split the cost on a hotel room, we’ve created a space on the blog to coordinate room shares. Finally, NCDD conferences are incredible opportunities to network and dig deeper into the D&D field, which is why we recently launched the Scholarship Fund Drive. Help support a student or fellow NCDDer to attend the conference who would otherwise be unable to do so, by giving a tax-deductible donation today!


NCDD2018 Workshop Sessions

We will continue to announce workshop sessions over the coming weeks to follow!

Don’t Avoid, Don’t Confront; Instead… Engage!: Dialogue Skills for Anti-racism Allies
How does a white person who aspires to be an ally against racism talk to their friends and family who are in denial about racism against people of color? The Ally Conversation Toolkit (ACT) gives people concrete guidance about how to respond to a wide variety of statements that racism-denying white folks make every day. The ACT project teaches the R.A.C.E method for managing conversation – standing for Reflect, Ask, Connect, Expand – that involves shifting interpersonal conversations from battles of opinion to a dialogue involving listening, empathy, and personal storytelling. The 90-minute conference workshop will be a distillation of half day and full day community workshops that have engaged thousands of people in venues across the country over the past two years.

Dr. David Campt
Founder, Ally Conversation Toolkit

Dayne Linford
Leader, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) – Salt Lake City, UT

Facilitating Effective Dialogue on Challenging Community Issues
Recently, Elkhart County, Indiana needed to hear from community members on a proposed rezoning to build an immigration detention center which would house up to 1,400 immigrants facing possible deportation. This case study will demonstrate how Elkhart County Commissioners used PlaceSpeak to engage with residents, and how they facilitated respectful online dialogue on this controversial and potentially explosive issue without trolls or bots. Session participants will be asked to share challenging issues in their own communities and how they can apply the best practices to their local context.

Colleen Hardwick
Founder/CEO, PlaceSpeak Inc.

Mike Yoder
County Commissioner, Elkhart County

Partner for Engagement: From Crises to Cohesion in Communities
Workshop leaders will facilitate three interactive cases in which participants will have to make management decisions that successfully engage multiple stakeholders and sectors in building sustainable solutions to community crisis situations: (1) integration of Puerto Rican migrants displaced by Hurricane Maria, (2) response to the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, and (3) economic development in impoverished neighborhood. Participants will learn how to negotiate partnerships, brand processes, and leverage resources within a D&D context, based on workshop leader experiences in these issues.

Thomas Bryer
Professor, School of Public Administration, University of Central Florida
Board President, Atvirum, Inc.

Sofia Prysmakova
PhD Candidate, Doctoral Program in Public Affairs, University of Central Florida
Board Vice-President, Atvirum, Inc.

Using Deliberation to Tackle Substance Abuse in Local High Schools
Engaging students can be difficult, especially when they’re not interested or don’t know enough about a topic. Come hear from students who got involved in engaging hundreds of high school students in conversations about substance abuse. This session will cover the barriers and opportunities related to partnering with students and school districts.

Kaia Heer
Student Associate, CSU Center for Public Deliberation

Sabrina Duey
Student Associate, CSU Center for Public Deliberation

Kalie McMonagle
Program Coordinator, Center for Public Deliberation, Colorado State University

Wakanda Forever: An Intergenerational Equity Framework
Everyday Democracy will share their intergenerational equity framework for community engagement. Using examples from the movie Black Panther, we will demonstrate our principles and vision for equity. Participants will learn how to use an intergenerational equity lens in their own community, and develop action plans to build bridges across age divides. Building intergenerational equity in to your work can lead to deeper dialogue and in turn more sustainable action and change.

Malana Rogers-Bursen
Program Associate, Everyday Democracy

Matthew Sagacity Walker
Community Assistance Associate, Everyday Democracy

More to come soon!

CitizenFEST Coming to Dallas and Memphis This Fall

Mover and shaker org, Citizen University is holding two more of their exciting CitizenFEST events this coming fall and we encourage you to them check out! For folks in Texas, there will be one coming to you next week in Dallas on September 8th and for folks in Tennessee, you can catch the final one on October 13th in Memphis. CitizenFEST is a free and entertaining learning summit on strengthening civic power. You can read about the upcoming events, learn about what the May CitizenFEST was like, and check it all out on Citizen University’s site here.


Upcoming CitizenFESTs

Power + Character = Citizenship

CitizenFEST is a festive learning summit on how to exercise civic power, held in three communities across the country. Activists, artists, and everyday citizens come together for a unique blend of art, creativity, and the concrete skills of effective change-making. Our country needs more people to show up in more places to practice power in more ways. Join us!

How do you get your voice heard? How do you change a rigged system? How do you stir others out of apathy or connect with those with whom you disagree? We’ll tackle these questions and more in a day of skill-building workshops, artistic performances, and deep community conversations. Participants will leave with practical strategies of civic power to apply in their own work, new connections with community members, and new ideas and inspiration for the work at hand.

Our goal is to make registration as accessible and inclusive as possible, which is why it’s free to attend CitizenFEST!

September 8: Dallas, TX

in partnership with the Embrey Family Foundation and Ignite/Arts Dallas
Learn more and register here.

Agenda
8:30 Registration & Breakfast

9:00 MORNING PLENARY SESSION
Welcome & Opening Performance
Keynote: Power + Character | Eric Liu, Citizen University
Panel: “Creating the Dallas We Need” | Giovanni Valderas, Assistant Director at Kirk Hopper Fine Art and visual artist; Brianna Brown, Texas Organizing Project; Vicki Meek, independent curator and artist; moderated by Kayla DeMonte, Citizen University

11:00 MORNING BREAKOUT
Power + Character Workshop – Citizen University

12:30 LUNCH
Music by S’anah Ras and DJ RonAmber. Tabling from local organizations

1:45 AFTERNOON BREAKOUTS
Workshops:
-Dr. Njoki McElroy
-Dallas Community Innovation Lab
-Panel: Texas Freedom Network, Creating Our Future, Dallas Area Interfaith, JOLT, moderated by Mercedes Fulbright

3:00 CLOSING PLENARY
Yoga N Da Hood, Mutual Aid Circles, performance, closing remarks by Eric Liu

4:30-5:30 Happy Hour Reception, music from DJ RonAmber

———-

Gilley’s Dallas is ADA accessible. Please contact us if you would like further accommodations.
Parking will be free and available.

Learn more about Citizen University: citizenuniversity.us
Learn more about Embrey Family Foundation: embreyfdn.org
Learn more about Ignite/Arts Dallas: igniteartsdallas.com

———-

October 13: Memphis, TN

in partnership with The Fourth Bluff
Learn more and register here.

May 11-12: New Orleans, LA

in partnership with the Family Independence Initiative
Learn more about this past event here.

Join the #DemocracyChat on Twitter, Monday September 10

We shared a post last week from NCDD member org and sponsor, The Jefferson Center, about their recent partnership with The New York Times to attend the annual New York Times Athens Democracy Forum in September. As part of this, they are hosting a Twitter chat under the hashtag #DemocracyChat on Monday, September 10th at 11 am CT. This will be an opportunity to share your thoughts on the current state of democracy and how to strengthen it moving forward. You can read the announcement below and find the original on Jefferson Center’s site here.


Join Our #DemocracyChat!

Want to share your ideas about how democracy is working today, and the steps individuals, journalists, governments, and companies can take to strengthen it? Join our Twitter chat on Monday, September 10 at 11:00 am CT with the hashtag #DemocracyChat! Add to Google CalendarOutlook, or iCal here.

We’ll discuss topics including…

  • How technology is changing the way politics work
  • How democracies can preserve human rights, while populist movements are on the rise
  • The responsibility of companies to uphold democracy

In just a few weeks, our team is heading to Greece to participate in the New York Times Athens Democracy Forum, “Democracy in Danger: Solutions for a Changing World”. As an official Knowledge Partner, we’ve been working with the New York Times team to bring our Citizens Jury method of deliberation to Athens. We’re moderating a key breakout session, where senior journalists from the NYT will sit down with business leaders, policymakers, and other experts from around the world to discuss democratic solutions.

We know (sadly) that not everybody is able to join our conversation in Athens. We still want to know how you’re thinking about the state of modern democracy.

New to Twitter Chats? Twitter Chats happen when a group of Twitter users meet online at a specific time to discuss a specific topic with a designated hashtag. In our case, that hashtag is #DemocracyChat. As the host, the Jefferson Center (are you following us on Twitter? You should be!) will host questions to guide the discussion marked as Q1, Q2, Q3… and so on. You can answer these directly with A1, A2, and A3 at the beginning of your tweets.

To help keep you organized, you may want to use a website like TweetChat so you only see tweets related to the hashtag, which will make the chat easier to follow. Just type in #DemocracyChat to start, and TweetChat will integrate with your Twitter account.

We’re excited to hear your ideas! See you on Twitter soon.

You can find the original version on this announcement on The Jefferson Center’s site at www.jefferson-center.org/join-our-democracychat/.

The Democracy Fund on Adapting Long-term Strategies

Our democratic institutions have taken many hits in the last few years, and organizations working to improve democracy have been struggling with how to continue with long-term strategies despite dramatic changes. The Democracy Fund – a sponsor of NCDD2018, recently shared this article on adapting long-term strategies when immediate needs may call for different actions which may seem not in line with the larger vision. The article speaks to how the Democracy Fund has worked on being better able to respond to change and offers advice, for foundations and other orgs, on how to address these challenges. You can read the article below and find the original on The Democracy Fund’s site here.


Adapting Long-term Strategies in Times of Profound Change

Over the past few years, foundations have increasingly embraced a systems approach, formulating longer-term strategies designed to solve chronic, complex problems. We value foundations for having strategic patience and being in it for the long haul. But what happens when they carefully craft a set of strategies intended for the long-term, and the context of one or more the interconnected problems they are trying to address changes considerably? Our experience at Democracy Fund, which aims to improve the fundamental health of the American democratic system, provides one example and suggests some lessons for other funders.

My colleagues and I chronicled the systems-thinking journey of Democracy Fund as we went about creating initiatives. After becoming an independent foundation in 2014, we went through a two-year process of carefully mapping the systems we were interested in shifting and then designing robust strategies based on our understanding of the best ways to make change. Our board approved our three long-term initiatives—elections, governance, and the public square—in 2016.

The 2016 election and its aftermath
It would not be an overstatement to say that the context for much of our work shifted considerably in the months leading up to, during, and following the 2016 US presidential election. Our strategies, as initially developed, were not fully prepared to address emerging threats in the landscape of American democracy, including:

  • The massive tide of mis- and dis-information
  • The undermining of the media as an effective fourth estate
  • The scale of cybersecurity risks to the election system
  • The violation of long-held democratic norms
  • The deepening polarization among the electorate, including the extent to which economics, race, and identity would fuel divisions

During and after the election, we engaged in a combination of collective angst (“How did we miss this?”) and intentional reflection (“How can we do better?”). We came out of that period of introspection and planning with three clear opportunities for our work that we carried out over the next few months.

  1. Ramp up our “system sensing” capabilities. We realized we needed to be much more diligent about putting our “ear to the ground” to understand what was going on with the American electorate. Our sister organization, Democracy Fund Voicewas already doing research that explored why many Americans were feeling disconnected and disoriented. Building on those lessons, we founded the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, a bipartisan collaboration of pollsters and academics that seeks to better understand the views and motivations of the American electorate. It explores public attitudes on urgent questions such as perceptions of authoritarianism, immigration, economics, and political parties. We also ran targeted focus groups and conducted polling around issues of press freedom, government accountability and oversight, and the rule of law. Collectively, these gave us (and the field) insights into the underlying dynamics and voter sentiments that were shaping the democratic landscape.
  2. Create an opportunistic, context-responsive funding stream. Our long-term initiatives, while highly strategic, did not leave many discretionary resources for needs that arise in the moment. Hence, with support from our board, we launched a series of special projects—time-limited infusions of resources and support to highly salient, timely issues. Our special project on investigative journalism supports and defends the role of a robust, free press in America’s public square. Our special project on fostering a just and inclusive society seeks to protect those whose civil rights and safety seem endangered in this emerging landscape. And finally, our special project on government accountability, transparency, and oversight aims to strengthen the checks and balances that help Americans hold their leaders and government accountable. Taken together, these projects address urgent issues undermining the foundations of our democracy.
  3. Codify our convictions. As a bipartisan organization, we believe that sustainable solutions require broad buy-in, and we strive to incorporate good ideas wherever they originate. However, in the midst of multiple violations of democratic norms in the heat of the 2016 election, we asked, “Does being bipartisan mean being neutral?” In other words, we questioned whether our positioning prevented us from taking a stance. The answer was a resounding no. But we also felt we needed a point of reference from which to act. We then set about creating a healthy democracy framework that codified our core convictions—a framework that would allow us to take principled positions, speak out when needed, and act by putting our resources to work. The framework articulated a set of beliefs, including the importance of respecting human dignity, the role of checks and balances, the significance of a free press, and the expectations of elected leaders to act with integrity. These beliefs act as a filter for what fits or doesn’t fit our general frame for action.
Lessons for other funders
Based on conversations with other funders, I know our experience is not unique. The field, as a whole, is trying to understand what it means to be strategic at a time of unprecedented change. Below are a few lessons that may be helpful:

  1. Recognize that “both/and” is the new normal. Rather than see the dynamic between the long-term and the immediate as an either/or, foundations need to adapt a mindset of both/and. The urgent needs are in many ways symptoms of systemic failure, but they do need dedicated responses and resources in the short term. Our attention is our most precious resource, and foundations need to constantly calibrate theirs to make sure it is appropriately focused.
  2. Go beyond adaptive learning. Notions of adaptive philanthropy—having clear goals, a learning agenda that tracks to those goals, and experimenting along the way—are helpful and did indeed shape our thinking. At the same time, we and other funders must recognize that adaptive learning, by itself, may not be sufficient when the nature of change is profound, rather than incremental. There may be times when we need to take several steps back and examine core assumptions about our work, as Democracy Fund did with our healthy democracy framework, and the McKnight Foundation did with its strategic framework.
  3. Invest in self-care. This may seem like strange advice in a discussion about strategy, but organizations are made up of people, and people tend to burn out in times of incessant and relentless change. It is important to recognize that we are living in a fraught political environment, and foundation staff, grantees, and partners may need an extra ounce of kindness and grace from others as they carry out their work. This may mean additional capacity building support for grantees, wellness counseling for staff, and an organizational culture that promotes empathy and understanding.

Conclusion
Foundations are unique in the sense that they have the ability to focus on an issue over a considerable period of time. And the recent strides the field has made on systems thinking have ensured that long-term strategies consider the multi-faceted nature of systems we are seeking to shift. However, we are grappling with the question of what happens when long-term thinking bumps up against immediate and acute needs.

In Democracy Fund’s case, building better system-sensing capabilities, creating a context-responsive funding stream, and codifying our convictions have equipped us to better respond to changing context. Our journey is by no means complete and we have a lot to learn, but we hope that our experience gives others—especially foundations wrestling with how to address immediate needs without abandoning their core priorities—an emerging roadmap for moving forward.

You can find the original version of this article on The Democracy Fund’s site at www.democracyfund.org/blog/entry/adapting-long-term-strategies-in-times-of-profound-change.

Free Webinar Series this Fall on Storytelling for Good

The theme of our upcoming 2018 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation is how to bring dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement work into greater awareness and more widespread practice. There are a lot of components to what that means and we will explore this much deeper at #NCDD2018! One way to expand the reach and impact of the D&D field is through better storytelling of the work being done to deeper engage with each other. The Communications Network is offering a free Storytelling for Good webinar series this fall, and the first webinar on “Strategy” is August 28th 2 – 3 EST. You can read about the webinar line-up in the post below and find more information on The Comms Network site here.


Storytelling for Good Upcoming Webinars

Storytelling for Good connects you to a suite of tools and a growing community that can help you leverage the power of narrative to increase reach, resources and impact for your social impact organization.

Webinar – Storytelling for Good: Strategy
August 28, 2018 2 – 3 pm EST
RSVP HERE

Stories are powerful: Our brains are literally wired to take in and preserve stories. Done well, stories can drive us to take action.

So how do you tell stories well? There have never been more ways to reach an audience, but it’s harder than ever to really get their attention.

We’re happy to introduce Storytelling for Good. It’s a platform designed with you in mind and will help you and your organization plan and execute a storytelling strategy—giving you the tools, resources, and case studies you need to become a storytelling organization from top to bottom.

In this webinar, we’ll focus on Strategy, one of the four pillars of storytelling.

Future webinars:

Webinar – Storytelling for Good: Content
September 18, 2018 2 – 3 pm EST
RSVP HERE

Webinar – Storytelling for Good: Engagement
October 28, 2018 2 – 3 pm EST
RSVP HERE

Webinar – Storytelling for Good: Evalution
November 8, 2018 2 – 3 pm EST
RSVP HERE

You can find the original version of this announcement on The Communications Network site at https://storytelling.comnetwork.org/.